It’s time to stand up to “flying rats” a.k.a Seagulls

Letter to The Sun:

Vicious seagulls are taking over our country.  The decline of the fishing industry has left less food for these feathered menaces to scavenge from the docks, so tens of thousands of them have taken up residence in inland towns and cities. And they aren’t just poking through rubbish bins. These “flying rats”, some of which grow to a huge size, have been dive-bombing families, biting toddlers and attacking pets. In 2015, gulls pecked a Yorkshire terrier to death in Cornwall, and one was recently reported to have carried off a chihuahua from a woman’s garden in Devon.

As a city councillor in Worcester – which is fully 40 miles from the sea – I am inundated with frightened parishioners telling tales of aggressive birds pecking at them whenever they venture into the garden. Residents and tourists are avoiding eating in outdoor cafés, and business owners are complaining about coming to work to find their shops “blanketed in white droppings”. There’s only one answer to the gull problem: “We must kill the bloody things.” As a nation of animal lovers, we may baulk at the idea of a cull, but something must be done.  (Alan Amos,The Sun, 10 August 2019)

Years ago my wife and I visited Brighton, which is on the South coast of England.  We were sitting in the open air, harmlessly having lunch, when a huge seagull swooped down upon our table. Wings outspread, it must have been over two feet across, wingtip to wingtip.  It had a nasty, disdainful look in its eye, was totally unafraid and was armed with a fearsome beak.  It seized my egg and tomato sandwich, its contents spilling out on nearby sightseers as it fearlessly flapped away.  Moral: don’t eat outside by the seaside, or, if you do, don’t choose bacon, egg and tomato sandwiches.

P.S  This seagull crisis is clearly the fault of the EU.  Once Britain has crashed out of the EU seagulls will obviously confine their activities to France.

One Comment

  1. How to stare down a seagull
    Seaside diners can help prevent their lunches being nicked by seagulls simply by maintaining eye contact with the birds, a new study claims. Madeleine Goumas, of the University of Exeter, visited coastal towns in Cornwall and lured herring seagulls into her vicinity with a portion of chips sealed in a transparent bag. Half the time, when a seagull approached, she looked away; the other half, she locked eyes with it. Birds that were stared at were less likely to make a bid for the food, and when they did, they typically took 21 seconds longer to do so. Writing in Biology Letters, Goumas attributes this to “gaze aversion” – an instinctual nerviness about being watched. However, her research suggests that seagulls don’t entirely deserve their reputation as fearless scavengers: of the 74 birds she targeted, only 26% were bold enough to approach the chips. (The Week)
    So now you know!

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